A virtual customer assistant (VCA) is a business application that simulates a conversation in order to deliver information and, if advanced, takes action on behalf of the customer to perform transactions. Engagement with a VCA is possible via the web, SMS, consumer messaging apps, mobile apps, peer-to-peer communities, kiosks and other web-based or mobile interfaces, and the engagement is text-based. In addition, a VCA can support speech- and text-based engagement in situations where voice processing is enabled. The VCA relies on knowledge repositories and NLP technologies. In some service scenarios, the combination of speech technology and the VCA provides a strong customer service proposition.